A hospital built to be future-ready

A hospital built to be future-ready
The 1,800-bed Woodlands Health Campus (WHC), which expects to see its first patient in 2022, will have an acute hospital and a community hospital sharing the same building from the start.
PHOTO: Alexandra Health

When it opens in 2022, Woodlands Health Campus will use data analytics and artificial intelligence to improve patient care

Woodlands is raising the bar for healthcare by getting Singapore's first hospital complex with facilities designed to complement each other.

It will also be driven by technology that enables fewer staff to care for patients.

The 1,800-bed Woodlands Health Campus (WHC), which expects to see its first patient in 2022, will have an acute hospital and a community hospital sharing the same building from the start.

It will also house a nursing home and specialist clinics.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told The Straits Times WHC would be the first hospital complex in which acute and community care services have been conceptualised together and are being built at the same time.

"We will have seamless integration from hospital to community hospital to nursing home, so if you are in the nursing home and need acute care, it's very near," he said.

Set on a plot of land the size of 11 football fields, the various institutions will also share common facilities such as gardens, rehabilitation centres as well as services like laundry and cooking.

At the ground-breaking ceremony yesterday, Mr Gan said WHC has to be "future ready" to meet the growing demands of an ageing population while overcoming manpower constraints.

WHC will use new technology to reduce manual work and tap on data analytics and artificial intelligence to improve patient care.

The campus is planning to provide every patient with a device akin to a watch on admission, which will monitor vital signs, activity and location.

Nurses will know the moment a patient's blood pressure goes up by too much, or be able to locate a dementia patient.

They will also be able to keep tabs on a patient's condition after he returns home with tele and video conferencing.

Mr Gan said hospitals of the future will be like air-traffic control towers "from which the healthcare team monitors its patients whether they are in the hospital or at home".

DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS

Dr Jason Cheah, who heads the planning committee and is CEO of the Agency for Integrated Care, said the campus will serve patients with care needs ranging from the urgent to recovery to end of life.

"Unlike in the past, our future patients will require longer and deeper relationships to be established with care providers," he said.

The plan is to offer patients better alternatives to hospitalisation, Dr Cheah said.

WHC will work with doctors and community providers and partners.

It will also use technology such as tele-health and video-conferencing to provide care for patients outside of the hospital and encourage them to self-monitor and manage their conditions.

salma@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Apr 08, 2017.
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